Tuesday, December 29, 2009

tonyblogs.net is honored

Bob Mantz recently compiled his Bob's Blitz Sports Blogs of the Year awards and coming in at No. 6 is the blog you're reading right now.

It's truly an honor to be recognized by Bob, a great sports blogger himself and one of the more prolific authors on the internet. It's also nice to be in the company of such other respected and well-read blogs as Fang's Bites, Glauber's NFL Hot Reads, The Big Lead and The Sports Hernia.

I thank Mantz and all of you for reading and continuing to check out the blog, even with the recent downturn in activity. Do yourself a favor and check out Bob's Blitz for great insight and lots of laughs.

NFL Power Rankings: Week 17 edition


Even though the Colts and Saints both lost, I couldn’t move them out of their respective number one and two positions. Indy coach Jim Caldwell took his starters out in the third quarter. The Saints did look bad in an overtime loss to the lowly Bucs, but we’ve got to go on a whole body of work. Even though I think the Chargers and Eagles might be the two best teams right now, it’s hard to argue with what the Saints and Colts have done throughout 2009.

TOP TIER
1. Colts (14-1) [1]
2. Saints (13-2) [2]
3. Chargers (12-3) [3]
4. Eagles (11-4) [4]
5. Cardinals (10-5) [6]
6. Vikings (11-4) [5]
7. Patriots (10-5) [7]
8. Packers (10-5) [8]
9. Cowboys (10-5) [9]
10. Bengals (10-5) [10]
11. Steelers (8-7) [17]
12. Ravens (8-7) [11]
13. Texans (8-7) [19]
14. Jets (8-7) [20]
15. Broncos (8-7) [13]

The Vikings drop after a tough overtime loss to the Bears in Chicago. I don’t think it’s another December swoon for Brett Favre, just mistakes plaguing Minnesota. The one knock on Adrian Peterson is his likelihood to fumble and that was what hurt the Vikings last night... The Patriots are reverting into their old form and no one was asking if Randy Moss was dogging it this week... The Packers are another dangerous team to watch for as we head into the playoffs. It’s a surprise considering how bad they looked earlier in the year. Could we see a Green Bay-Minnesot playoff matchup?… The Bengals snuck out another win against a bad team, making me wonder how far they will be able to go in the tournament... The Steelers are right back in the hunt after a very bad stretch... The Jets got handed a victory thanks to Caldwell’s decision to go for a Super Bowl win and not a perfect season. If they win this Sunday night against the Bengals, who will probably rest their starters for a portion of the game as well, the Airplanes will be in the playoffs, a few weeks after their own coach thought they were out of it... We round out the Top Tier this week with the Broncos, who have completely fallen apart and might miss the playoffs after starting 6-0... All the teams will playoff potential are included in this week’s Top Tier.

SECOND TIER
16. Falcons (8-7) [14]
17. Titans (7-8) [15]
18. Panthers (7-8) [21]
19. Giants (8-7) [12]
20. Dolphins (7-8) [16]
21. Jaguars (7-8) [18]
22. 49ers (7-8) [22]
23. Bears (6-9) [25]
24. Raiders (5-10) [23]
25. Bills (5-10) [24]

The Falcons and Panthers are two teams that have warmed up as of late... Carolina is coming off two impressive wins, although the victory against the Giants looked more like a scrimmage... The Titans will now turn their attention to helping Chris Johnson pass the 2,000 yard rushing mark on the season. They’ve won seven of their last nine, but it’s hard to overcome a 0-6 start in the NFL... The Giants put on one of the most pitiful performances since Tom Green in Freddie Got Fingered. Their only two good wins on the season came against the Cowboys, while they beat the Falcons and a bunch of bottom-feeders for the other six. The defense is garbage and Brandon Jacobs has suddenly become one of the worst running backs in the NFL. As you can probably tell by my disdain, I’m a Giants fan... Speaking of teams that put on pathetic displays with their playoff lives on the line, the Jags and Dolphins did just the same as the Giants last week.

BOTTOM TIER
26. Browns (4-11) [27]
27. Seahawks (5-10) [26]
28. Buccaneers (3-12) [30]
29. Redskins (4-11) [28]
30. Chiefs (3-12) [29]
31. Lions (2-13) [31]
32. Rams (1-14) [32]

The Browns have incredibly won three in a row with lots of shakeups looming in the offseason. The latest rumors have Matt Hasselbeck coming to Cleveland to rejoin Mike Holmgren... The only problem with that is Matt Hasselbeck isn’t very good anymore. He tossed four picks in Sunday’s loss... The Bucs pulled out an overtime victory against the mighty Saints for what will be the highlight of their 2009 season. They seem to have something in rookie quarterback Josh Freeman. The only question is if Raheem Morris will be around next year to continue in his developmental process... The Redskins played like the Redskins Sunday night against the Cowboys. Jim Zorn’s final game as head coach of Washington will almost undoubtedly be this week.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Six Picks for Sunday - Week Sixteen results


Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner. Stuart, who basically led from the moment the proverbial horses left the gates, has clinched first place after another impressive 5-1 week. The Rooster needed some help this week and, while he posted a nice 4-2 mark, it won't be enough to unseat the king of our Six Picks for Sunday competition, Stuart Millstein.

As for me, well, let's just say my back is sore from holding everyone up from the bottom all year long. Let's take a closer look at this week's results.

Tony's Picks
CLE, MIA, BAL, IND, PHI, DAL

The Rooster's Picks
CLE, HOU, PIT, IND, PHI, WSH

Stuart's Picks
OAK, HOU, PIT, NYJ, PHI, DAL

Overall Standings
Stuart (61-29)
The Rooster (50-40)
Tony (41-49)

Even though it's all locked up, we'll be back next week with our final edition of the contest.

Dropping Links: Monday, December 28, 2009

In the words of LL Cool J, don't call it a comeback. Dropping Links used to be a weekday fixture here on the blog but a new job and other interests have pulled me away from my daily blogging ferocity. Tonight, though, we've got some links from my blogging friends to keep you occupied and hopefully I'll be dropping links a little more often in the future.

- The Hall of Very Good is continuing to break down the potential 2010 baseball Hall of Fame class and the latest article profiles Mark McGwire. Be sure to check out HOVG for a rundown of Fred McGriff, Don Mattingly, Edgar Martinez, Barry Larkin and more.

- Pam Ward had little remorse for an injured Marshall player during the Little Caesars Bowl on ESPN. She thought they were cutting to the studio but, unfortunately for her, the cameras and microphones stayed on the field. Our friend Bob Mantz has the clip.

- Fang's Bites has all the info you need to get ready for the NHL Winter Classic, taking place this year at Fenway Park between the Bruins and Flyers.

- Luca Esposito at Club Seat Sports disagrees with my earlier take on Jim Caldwell's decision to rest his starters and give up the chance at a perfect season. As the saying goes, I guess history will be the judge of whether or not the move was right or wrong.

The Curious Case of Jim Caldwell's Colts


Many media pundits, bloggers and fans are upset today that Indianapolis Colts head coach Jim Caldwell decided to pull Peyton Manning, Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark and Joseph Addai from Sunday’s game against the Jets with a slim lead in the 3rd quarter. With that move, Caldwell made it clear that he didn’t care about going undefeated, only about winning a Super Bowl. That is, after all, what it’s all about.

I can see why people would be upset. There’s a supposed “sanctity of the game” to be followed and it really isn’t fair to a lot of the other 8-7 teams that might get knocked out of playoff contention thanks to the Colts’ charitable gift to the Jets.

But winning the Super Bowl is the ultimate goal. Ensuring Peyton Manning and Co. are healthy and well-rested likely helps in that respect. We can all point the finger now but had Manning broken his leg, all of the opinions would be just the opposite. Everyone would be saying how Jim Caldwell is an idiot for not taking the three-time MVP out of what was a meaningless game for the Colts, with the number one seed in the AFC wrapped up.

Besides, does anyone really care that the 2007 Patriots went 16-0 in the regular season? Of course not, because they didn’t win it all.

ESPN Monday Night Football: Are you ready for some hyperbole?


Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings will be playing on Monday Night Football tonight, so hopefully you’re ready for a boatload of hyperbole and exaggeration about how great Favre is. As is now commonplace during any game broadcast that features Brett Favre – or, as I like to call it, a “Favre-cast” – the announcers will rave about how much fun he has, what a warrior he is and how nobody in the game does it like him.

But tonight we get an extra bonus. As you’ve undoubtedly heard, Brett and Vikings head coach Brad Childress got into a little spat last week when Childress wanted the 40-year-old Favre to come out of the game to avoid injury since the Vikings had already clinched the division. But Favre, the enthusiastic and childlike leader that he is, refused his coach’s orders. What for other players would be considered blasphemy was deemed totally acceptable for Favre-us Maximus.

So aside from the neverending gushing over Brett Favre, we’ll also get the Childress v. Favre sidebar pounded into our heads tonight by ESPN’s cavalcade of broadcasters.

I’m sure you’re familiar by now. It starts with Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic anchoring the evening SportsCenter, even though Golic is not an anchor by any means. Then we get the Monday Night Countdown crew, featuring Chris “Incoherent Rambling” Berman, Mike Ditka, Keyshawn Johnson, Cris Carter, Tom Jackson, Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter. And don’t forget the live updates from Michele Tafoya and Suzy Kolber, providing us with useless information every 20 minutes.

But wait, there’s more! Live, on-site, will be Stuart Scott, Matt Millen and Steve Young, as usual.

Then, after much anticipation, Brett Favre and the Vikings will storm the field being serenaded by the sweet nothings of Ron Jaworski and Jon Gruden. Mike Tirico will try to moderate but he, too, will eventually be overcome by the Favre Love-train and join in.

Be sure you don’t miss it, another edition of Monday Night Favre-ball on ESPN!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Six Picks for Sunday - Week Sixteen


We're back with another edition of the Six Picks for Sunday. As you know, these are determined by the six games with the closest spreads, although the games will be predicted straight up. Feel free to post your own picks in the comments section, and I'll keep you updated with the results throughout the season.

For the up-to-date results and standings, click here.


Oakland Raiders @ Cleveland Browns - Browns
Houston Texans @ Miami Dolphins - Dolphins
Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers - Ravens
New York Jets @ Indianapolis Colts - Colts
Denver Broncos @ Philadelphia Eagles - Eagles
Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins - Cowboys

I've been picking the Raiders often, but the Browns have been hot lately and they're the home team in this battle of bottom-feeders... Give me the Dolphins, thanks to home field... The Steelers had a great win last week, but I don't know if they can stop the Ravens, even if it is at Heinz Field... The only logic behind the Jets-Colts game being so close according to the spread is that the Colts may not play their starters for the whole game. Even if they don't, I'll still take the Colts over the Airplanes... The Broncos were 6-0 and have gone 2-6 since then, so I'll take the Eagles, who are perhaps the best team in the NFC... As bad as Washington played last Monday against the Giants, I just can't pick them, even though I could see the Redskins pulling an upset.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

NFL Power Rankings: Week 16 edition


TOP TIER
1. Colts (14-0) [2]
2. Saints (13-1) [1]
3. Chargers (11-3) [3]
4. Eagles (10-4) [5]
5. Vikings (11-3) [4]
6. Cardinals (9-5) [8]
7. Patriots (9-5) [10]
8. Packers (9-5) [6]
9. Cowboys (9-5) [11]
10. Bengals (9-5) [7]
11. Ravens (8-6) [13]
12. Giants (8-6) [14]
13. Broncos (8-6) [9]

After weeks of holding the number one spot, the Saints finally fall out after a loss to the Cowboys. They stay ahead of the Chargers, though, by virtue of their record.

SECOND TIER
14. Falcons (7-7) [16]
15. Titans (7-7) [17]
16. Dolphins (7-7) [12]
17. Steelers (7-7) [19]
18. Jaguars (7-7) [15]
19. Texans (7-7) [21]
20. Jets (7-7) [18]
21. Panthers (6-8) [25]
22. 49ers (6-8) [20]
23. Raiders (5-9) [27]

That jumble of 7-7 AFC teams is going to make things very interesting as we head down the stretch towards the playoffs... The Steelers are suddenly back in the mix after a terrible stretch, following their incredible last-second win against the Packers... It was more of the same for the Jets, as Mark Sanchez threw three picks, one at the very end of the game. A win would have put the Airplanes in prime position for the playoffs, but instead they're stuck in the middle of the pack... The Raiders move into the Second Tier after a crazy win in which they used three different quarterbacks, all of whom are basically terrible.

BOTTOM TIER
24. Bills (5-9) [22]
25. Bears (5-9) [23]
26. Seahawks (5-9) [24]
27. Browns (3-11) [29]
28. Redskins (4-10) [26]
29. Chiefs (3-11) [28]
30. Buccaneers (2-12) [31]
31. Lions (2-12) [30]
32. Rams (1-13) [32]

Six Picks for Sunday - Week Fifteen results


It wasn't a great week for any of the three competitors in our weekly Six Picks for Sunday competition and it was the first bad week for our current leader, Stuart. Let's take a look at the results from this week.

Tony's Picks
GB, TEN, NYJ, KC, SD, SEA

Stuart's Picks
GB, TEN, NYJ, KC, SD, SEA

The Rooster's Picks
PIT, MIA, ATL, KC, SD, SEA

The Rooster leads the way at 3-3 while Stu and I both go 2-4.

Overall Standings
Stuart (56-28)
The Rooster (46-38)
Tony (38-46)

Stuart has a 10-game lead with 12 picks remaining on the season. Can Stu wrap it up this coming week? That remains to be seen. One thing we know for sure is that I definitely won't be finishing first.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Six Picks for Sunday - Week Fifteen


We're back with another edition of the Six Picks for Sunday. As you know, these are determined by the six games with the closest spreads, although the games will be predicted straight up. Feel free to post your own picks in the comments section, and I'll keep you updated with the results throughout the season.

For the up-to-date results and standings, click here.


Green Bay Packers @ Pittsburgh Steelers - Packers
Miami Dolphins @ Tennessee Titans - Titans
Atlanta Falcons @ New York Jets - Jets
Cleveland Browns @ Kansas City Chiefs - Chiefs
Cincinnati Bengals @ San Diego Chargers - Chargers
Tampa Bay Bucs @ Seattle Seahawks - Seahawks

The Steelers lost to the Browns last week. The Browns. So I have to take the hot Packers, even going into Heinz Field... The Dolphins-Titans matchup will be a treat, especially with the sidebar of Chris Johnson and Ted Ginn apparently wanting to race each other. I'll take Tennessee and Chris Johnson... It's been a rough year for the Falcons and as bad as it has been for the Jets, they are still 7-6, right in the hunt. I'll take the Airplanes today, counting on Thomas Jones to carry the load... Chiefs, since they're at home. I mean, both teams are garbage, so what else is there to go on?... Although the Bengals will certainly be playing for a lot this Sunday following the death of Chris Henry, I think the Chargers take it at home. San Diego could very well be headed for a Super Bowl this year... I'll take the Seahawks, for the same reason as the KC-CLE game.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

NFL Power Rankings: Week 15 edition


No movement in the top four and the Eagles and Packers jump up after keeping their momentum going.

TOP TIER
1. Saints (13-0) [1]
2. Colts (13-0) [2]
3. Chargers (10-3) [3]
4. Vikings (11-2) [4]
5. Eagles (9-4) [7]
6. Packers (9-4) [9]
7. Bengals (9-4) [5]
8. Cardinals (8-5) [6]
9. Broncos (8-5) [8]
10. Patriots (8-5) [11]
11. Cowboys (8-5) [10]

Can't drop the Broncos or Bengals too far after losing to the Colts and Vikings, respectively.

SECOND TIER
12. Dolphins (7-6) [15]
13. Ravens (7-6) [16]
14. Giants (7-6) [12]
15. Jaguars (7-6) [13]
16. Falcons (6-7) [14]
17. Titans (6-7) [18]
18. Jets (7-6) [19]
19. Steelers (6-7) [17]
20. 49ers (6-7) [20]
21. Texans (6-7) [22]

The Second Tier doesn't feature a lot of potential playoff teams, but I had to keep all the 6+ win teams out of the Bottom Tier.

BOTTOM TIER
22. Bills (5-8) [27]
23. Bears (5-8) [21]
24. Seahawks (5-8) [23]
25. Panthers (5-8) [24]
26. Redskins (4-9) [26]
27. Raiders (4-9) [25]
28. Chiefs (3-10) [28]
29. Browns (2-11) [32]
30. Lions (2-11) [29]
31. Buccaneers (1-12) [30]
32. Rams (1-12) [31]

Reports: Bret Hart signs contract with WWE

From time to time I like to drop in with a post about my guilty pleasure, professional wrestling. There is some potentially huge news circulating through the interwebs this evening.

According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer, Bret "The Hitman" Hart will not only host the January 4 episode of WWE Raw that will go head-to-head with TNA's special edition of Impact but he will also sign a short-term contract with World Wrestling Entertainment.

As fans of wrestling know, Bret Hart has had limited involvement with the WWE since the infamous "Montreal Screw Job." Hart worked with the company to produce the retrospective DVD on his career and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006, where he refused to appear unless Shawn Michaels was not in the building. Michaels, as you likely know, was also an integral part of Bret's departure as was Triple H.

Meltzer reports that the contract would begin in January and run until April 10th, which is two weeks after WrestleMania XXVI.

It is unlikely that Hart would wrestle, although a Michaels-Hitman WrestleMania match would be huge for the pay-per-view's buy rate. And if there is anyone that could carry Hart, who hasn't wrestled in ten years, to a decent match it's "The Heartbreak Kid." Or perhaps the less athletic but far more desired match would be Hart v. Vince McMahon.

We don't know for sure if the reports are true, but the tension between Hart and Michaels, Triple H and McMahon would make for incredible television. I'm hoping it is true... and that WWE's creative team doesn't ruin it if it is.

Six Picks for Sunday - Week Fourteen results


It wasn't a very good week for your esteemed bloghost, which has sadly become the norm in our Six Picks for Sunday competition. Here are the Week Fourteen results.

Tony's Picks
TB, KC, MIA, OAK, SD, NYG

The Rooster's Picks
TB, KC, MIA, OAK, SD, PHI

Stuart's Picks
NYJ, KC, JAX, WSH, SD, PHI

Stuart once again leads the way, going 4-2, while The Rooster breaks even and I pull up the rear with a sad 2-4 performance. Let's see where that puts us for the year.

Overall Standings
Stuart (54-24)
The Rooster (43-35)
Tony (36-42)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Six Picks for Sunday - Week Fourteen


We're back with another edition of the Six Picks for Sunday. As you know, these are determined by the six games with the closest spreads, although the games will be predicted straight up. Feel free to post your own picks in the comments section, and I'll keep you updated with the results throughout the season.

For the up-to-date results and standings, click here.


New York Jets @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Bucs
Buffalo Bills @ Kansas City Chiefs - Chiefs
Miami Dolphins @ Jacksonville Jaguars - Dolphins
Washington Redskins @ Oakland Raiders - Raiders
San Diego Chargers @ Dallas Cowboys - Chargers
Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Giants - Giants

Even though Mark Sanchez has been less than spectacular lately, Kellen Clemens is probably even worse, mostly since he has seen very little game action in his NFL career. I'll take the Bucs at home to knock off the Airplanes... You never know which Bills team will show up, but I'll assume this week it will be the one that looked horrible against the Jets, and they'll lose in Kansas City... Miami is coming off that big win against the Patriots and if they can play with the same intensity, the Dolphins should be able to take care of the Jags in Jacksonville... The Redskins are better than their record shows but the Raiders have also been playing better with Bruce Gradkowski under center. I'll take the Raiders in Oakland... The Chargers are the hottest team in football and play great in December while the Cowboys, well, we all know about the Cowboys in December... The Eagles have such an explosive offense but I'll take the Giants with my heart and, if Brandon Jacobs can run, with my head too.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

World Cup 2010: Volume 1 - Can the USA have a strong showing in South Africa?


Our old friend and tonyblogs.net Senior Soccer Analyst Josh Garcia is back with the first of a continuing series examining the 2010 World Cup. For more of Josh's articles, click here.

In a short 183 days South Africa will be host to the world’s biggest party and sporting event, the 2010 World Cup. The United States has a draw that could see them advancing into the elimination round. The U.S. is in a group with Algeria, Slovenia, and one of the favorites England. The U.S. will start off against international powerhouse England on June 12th. This will be an enormous test in determining not only if the Americans can advance but in taking control of Group C.

Algeria and Slovenia are not well known but each could pose a problem for the U.S. Slovenia especially. Algeria was one of the last teams to make it into the World Cup by beating Egypt in a playoff. The “Desert Foxes” have not been to the World Cup since 1986 and are looking to be a Cinderella story in June. Already wearing a glass slipper in many people’s eyes, Slovenia will try to continue to stun and dazzle the world. Slovenia has merely a few million people and they have managed to upset such countries as Russia, Poland and the Czech Republic. Their defense is their strength and we all know that proverb, the World Cup is no different. I’ll say it anyway... defense wins World Cups.

The Slovenians could be a surprise coming out of Group C.

England has the most pressure of any team in Group C. Their roster is full of some of the best footballers in the world. They have immense talent at every position and are considered one of the favorites to win the 2010 World Cup. But after fizzling out of the Euros in '04, World Cup of '06 and not even qualifying for the Euros '08, England will attempt to get the gorilla off its back. England is expected to win the group and, in my eyes, make it at least to the semi-finals.

The United States has already won in South Africa in 2009's Confederations Cup and will hope to continue their success on African soil. The United States' draw in Group C could mean that they have their best showing in a World Cup in recent memory. Their biggest game will be their first game against England and if they can pull the upset, they will be in firm control to win the group and most likely avoid playing another European powerhouse, Germany, in the next round (Assuming Germany wins their group).

Landon Donavan will be the key. The U.S.’ most touted soccer player, fresh off his penalty kick miss in the MLS Cup final (with teammate, England’s own David Beckham, looking on) will lead the Red, White and Blue. He has the reputation of not showing up in big games but much like A-Rod proved in October, it only takes one to change their mind. It takes one goal, one big win and one advancement to the knockout round to make people forget.

It will not be easy for them, losing Charlie Davies to his near-death car accident. He was arguably their fastest player. They have one of the most talented goalkeepers in the world with Tim Howard. The Americans have a lot of talent, it's just a matter of putting it all together like they did against Spain in the Confederations cup final last year.

In the coming weeks, I will be previewing and posting more group breakdowns and predictions.

NFL Power Rankings: Week 14 edition


Slight movement at the top this week as the Chargers slide ahead of the Vikings, while the Saints and Colts keep their strongholds on the one and two spots, respectively.

TOP TIER
1. Saints (12-0) [1]
2. Colts (12-0) [2]
3. Chargers (9-3) [4]
4. Vikings (10-2) [3]
5. Bengals (9-3) [5]
6. Cardinals (8-4) [8]
7. Eagles (8-4) [9]
8. Broncos (8-4) [10]
9. Packers (8-4) [11]
10. Cowboys (8-4) [6]

Although the Saints barely beat the Redskins in overtime, I can't take them out of the top spot... The Chargers are red hot right now and have the Colts in their sights... The Cowboys slip after a poor showing against the Giants but stay in the Top Tier, thanks to their 8-win record.

SECOND TIER
11. Patriots (7-5) [7]
12. Giants (7-5) [16]
13. Jaguars (7-5) [17]
14. Falcons (6-6) [12]
15. Dolphins (6-6) [19]
16. Ravens (6-6) [13]
17. Steelers (6-6) [14]
18. Titans (5-7) [15]
19. Jets (6-6) [22]
20. 49ers (5-7) [18]
21. Bears (5-7) [25]
22. Texans (5-7) [20]

A rough week for both the Ravens and the Steelers has them sliding... The Patriots are in trouble but still hold a one game lead in the AFC West.

BOTTOM TIER
23. Seahawks (5-7) [23]
24. Panthers (5-7) [24]
25. Raiders (4-8) [29]
26. Redskins (3-9) [27]
27. Bills (4-8) [21]
28. Chiefs (3-9) [26]
29. Lions (2-10) [28]
30. Buccaneers (1-11) [30]
31. Rams (1-11) [31]
32. Browns (1-11) [32]

The Raiders jump up after knocking off another AFC North team. Bruce Gradkowski has probably ended JaMarcus Russell's career as a starter... The Redskins move up a spot, even though they lost, because they've played well for three straight weeks and almost defeated the Saints this weekend.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Six Picks for Sunday - Week Thirteen results

Stuart and I each go 3-3 while The Rooster pulls up the back end with a 1-5 week. Let's take a closer look at the results.

Tony's Picks
DEN, JAX, SEA, MIN, DAL, NE

Stuart's Picks
DEN, HOU, SEA, MIN, DAL, MIA

The Rooster's Picks
DEN, HOU, SF, MIN, DAL, NE

Stu holds his grip on first place and no matter what I do, I can't get above .500!

Overall standings
Stuart (50-22)
The Rooster (40-32)
Tony (34-38)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Why Cincinnati coach Brian Kelly looks like an idiot right now

If you're a longtime reader of the blog, you know about my "Fraternal Society of Hypocrites," a group of coaches who have vehemently denied leaving their current job to coach somewhere else only to leave their current job and coach somewhere else. Nick Saban and Bobby Petrino are a few members of the infamous group.

It looks like they might soon be joined by current Cincinnati head coach Brian Kelly.

Kelly first snapped at reporters about a week ago when asked if he would be interested in coaching at Notre Dame, saying he wouldn't leave and only wanted to focus on the upcoming Cincinnati v. Pittsburgh Big East title game.

Before that very game he told reporters that if Notre Dame wanted to talk, he would entertain that. Then following the game he again snapped at reporters saying that they have a habit of reporting things that aren't backed up by facts.

While Kelly may be right about the media, he just now tweeted that he will, in fact, be interviewing for the Notre Dame vacancy on Tuesday. So Kelly got all angry, all "you guys are idiots and I'm noble" with reporters on Saturday because they said he would interview with Notre Dame and then he'll interview with Notre Dame.

What makes this all even more funny is that Kelly is acting as though no one has reason to believe he might leave Cincinnati for the bigger spotlight that the Fighting Irish head coaching position can offer. But really, we have every reason to believe he will leave the Bearcats and head to the Irish, since he abandoned Central Michigan University before their season was even finished to head to Cincinnati.

He won't be in the Fraternal Society of Hypocrites until he actually jumps ship to ND, but for now he's certainly a hypocrite-in-training.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Golf Digest probably wants to take a mulligan on January 2010 mag cover


I received the January 2010 issue of Golf Digest in my mailbox this afternoon and had to chuckle at the cover. Reading, "10 Tips Obama Can Take From Tiger," the editors of the magazine undoubtedly have been cringing for about a week knowing that it was too late to change the issue.

I hate to hop on the "Bash Tiger" bandwagon but this is a little too funny to pass up.

Six Picks for Sunday - Week Thirteen

We're back with another edition of the Six Picks for Sunday. As you know, these are determined by the six games with the closest spreads, although the games will be predicted straight up. Feel free to post your own picks in the comments section, and I'll keep you updated with the results throughout the season.

For the up-to-date results and standings, click here.


Denver Broncos @ Kansas City Chiefs - Broncos
Houston Texans @ Jacksonville Jaguars - Jaguars
San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks - Seahawks
Minnesota Vikings @ Arizona Cardinals - Vikings
Dallas Cowboys @ New York Giants - Cowboys
New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins - Patriots

The Broncos seemed to have figured our their defensive struggles a little bit against the Giants Thanksgiving night and I see them being able to contain a not-very-good Chiefs offense and being able to put up a few TDs... I'll take the Jaguars simply because they are the home team in this contest. Both of these teams have disappointed this year. They've each shown signs of being great and then fallen flat the following week... Seahawks, again, because of home field... Vikings on the road, especially if Kurt Warner isn't 100%... I have to go with the Cowboys, even though it hurts my Giants-loving heart. New York simply can't play defense and Dallas should be able to finally straighten out their offense in the Meadowlands... After last week's weak performances by each team, I'll take the Patriots because at least they lost to the undefeated Saints, not the Bills.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

NFL Power Rankings: Week 13 edition


TOP TIER
1. Saints (11-0) [1]
2. Colts (11-0) [2]
3. Vikings (10-1) [3]
4. Chargers (8-3) [6]
5. Bengals (8-3) [7]
6. Cowboys (8-3) [8]
7. Patriots (7-4) [4]
8. Cardinals (7-4) [5]
9. Eagles (7-4) [10]
10. Broncos (7-4) [13]
11. Packers (7-4) [15]

The Saints are proving to be everything we thought they were and more, and they showed it once again in a mighty win over the Patriots... I can't drop the Cardinals too far since they lost to the red hot Titans and did it without their starting quarterback, Kurt Warner... The Broncos make their way back into the Top Tier after a dominant performance against the Giants. While that may not be saying much, the Denver defense showed up once again, which is a great sign.

SECOND TIER
12. Falcons (6-5) [16]
13. Ravens (6-5) [17]
14. Steelers (6-5) [9]
15. Titans (5-6) [19]
16. Giants (6-5) [11]
17. Jaguars (6-5) [12]
18. 49ers (5-6) [20]
19. Dolphins (5-6) [14]
20. Texans (5-6) [18]
21. Bills (4-7) [26]
22. Jets (5-6) [25]

It was a tough decision to slide the Steelers down five spots after they lost in OT without Ben Roethlisberger. But they weren't playing that great with "Big Ben" healthy anyway... The Titans keep rolling and now I'm wondering if they have a shot at the playoffs... Giants = horrible... The Jets slide up three spots after winning one of the least impressive games you'll ever see, against the hapless Panthers.

BOTTOM TIER
23. Seahawks (4-7) [27]
24. Panthers (4-7) [21]
25. Bears (4-7) [22]
26. Chiefs (3-8) [23]
27. Redskins (3-8) [28]
28. Lions (2-9) [29]
29. Raiders (3-8) [24]
30. Buccaneers (1-10) [30]
31. Rams (1-10) [31]
32. Browns (1-10) [32]

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Six Picks for Sunday - Week Twelve results

Another strong week for our competitors, with Stuart once again leading the way. Let's take a look at the results.

Tony's Picks
IND, MIA, TEN, SEA, NYJ, JAX

Stuart's Picks
IND, BUF, TEN, SEA, NYJ, JAX

The Rooster's Picks
IND, MIA, ARZ, SEA, CAR, SF

Another 5-1 week for Stu and a 4-2 for myself, with The Rooster coming in at 3-3. Here are the overall standings.

Stuart (47-19)
The Rooster (39-27)
Tony (31-35)